We had the good fortune of connecting with Pauline Shypula and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pauline, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My family had wanted me to pursue something practical; preferably investment banking. I had no intention of doing so, and continued to study history and writing, while pursuing photography on the side. It was only after I went to graduate school for creative writing that it finally sunk in for everyone that I was going to go into a creative career. The “why” is a little muddled. My partner, whose entire family is full of creatives, helped me to see it is possible to pursue a creative career. However, retrospectively, I realize that there was an unconscious drive to do what I wanted to do. To borrow a platitude, it was only until I got here that I realized I had been marching to the beat of my own drum all along, but needed some positive support, and a lot of therapy, to appreciate that.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I would say I have a lot of fingers in a lot of pies – creatively speaking. My main occupation is copy editing for the morning radio comedy show The Bob and Tom show. I am also a photographer under my own name, or P. Shypula Photography, as well as a sketch comedy performer. When I have some free time, I also try to do some writing as well as some dancing. It was not necessarily easy getting here, but I have had so much support in recent years that I can only say it has been reasonably challenging. Especially in photography, finding your voice, developing your style, setting boundaries, putting a monetary value on your work, and knowing your own worth, were not things I was aware of when I was a 17 year old haphazardly taking pictures of whatever I could. I imagine I’ll be trying to tackle those things for the rest of my life. To be so scattered professionally makes nailing a brand seem impossible, so I just hope that I am known for being reliable, professional, understanding, and above all, bringing happiness to other people’s lives – however it might be packaged.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I moved to Indianapolis from the East Coast, but have since discovered a whole host of gems. If you’re visiting town – grabbing some local coffee from Tinker Coffee Co., Bee Coffee Roasters, or Monon Coffee Co. is a must to get the energy you need for all that there is to do. There are so many excellent eateries – but my favorites have to be Sakura Sushi, Ramen Ray, and Maxines Chicken and Waffles. You have to visit Delicia twice – once for dinner and once for brunch. Midland Antiques is a phenomenal way to tank your paycheck, but the Fountain Square area is great to explore and pick up some records at Square Cat Vinyl or grab some garb from Zodiac Vintage. I might be shamelessly biased here, but the best place to catch a show is at the White Rabbit Cabaret – where nightly performances range from literary-satire sketch comedy shows to burlesque bingo, to a variety show highlighting the vast array of talent this city has to offer. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A great deal of the credit has to go to my partner. Even from the very beginning of our relationship, he was always encouraging me to pursue my passions, as well as introducing me to new ones. I would have never delved into comedy were it not for him being a comedian himself and encouraging me to give it a shot. Now, I have found a home in a show called An Evening with the Authors* that perfectly marries literature and satire in a way that allows me to bring nearly all of my passions together. Since we are co-workers and fellow performers, we’re always working together, either alongside one another or on comedy pieces together. As for my other creative outlets, he is right at my side offering support, advice, constructive criticism, and even modeling services when a photo project arises.